(CNN) -- Nicolas Anelka continued his free-scoring form as Chelsea regained leadership of the English Premier League with a 3-0 rout of bottom club West Bromwich Albion in Saturday's late kickoff.
Anelka has prospered since Luiz Felipe Scolari took charge at Chelsea.
Chelsea head Liverpool on goal difference with both teams on 32 points after 13 matches.
Champions Manchester United are eight points adrift, with a game in hand, in third place.
Full-back Jose Boswinga opened the scoring for Chelsea on 34 minutes at The Hawthorns with Anelka all but wrapping up the three points with a double strike just before halftime.
It was the French international's seventh goal in his last three Premier League games and continued his improved Chelsea form since the arrival of manager Luiz Felipe Scolari at the start of the season.
West Bromwich manager Tony Mowbray had predicted a tough test and his worst fears were confirmed as a comprehensive defeat leaves them propping up the standings on 11 points.
After a quiet start, Chelsea found their rhythm and Frank Lampard tested Scott Carson with a powerful drive.
A superb strike from Boswinga gave the Blues the lead after 34 minutes.
There appeared to be little danger but Boswinga suddenly unleashed a powerful left-footed drive from 25 meters out which Carson could not prevent from finding the back of the net.
After 38 minutes Anelka doubled Chelsea's lead as the excellent Florent Malouda headed the ball into his path and he ran on to dink the ball past Carson.
In first half injury-time Anelka struck again from a narrow angle with Salomon Kalou giving the assist this time.
Anelka, who had kept Didier Drogba on the bench, had chances to complete a hat-trick after the break.
The first came as he unselfishly chose to set up Deco rather than shoot from 12 meters out and later Abdoulaye Meite threw himself in front of his goalbound shot.
Malouda should have capped a fine individual performance with Chelsea's fourrth but shot across the face of goal with only Carson to beat.
Scolari was pleased to see his team back to their best after a penalty shootout defeat to Burnley in the League Cup in midweek and was particularly pleased by Anelka's contribution.
"When you receive the ball one or two times, 10 times, and you don't score, some players in the team lose confidence in him," Scolari told the Associated Press.
"But when he receives the ball one or two times and scores, players try to give more chances to Anelka for him to score more."